Havre Daily News sports editor
In the game of basketball, sometimes experience comes with a heavy price. Such was the case for the MSU-Northern men's basketball team Sunday afternoon in an 82-46 exhibition loss at the hands of Division I-A Boise State in Boise, Idaho.
Northern struggled on both ends of the floor against the bigger, more experienced Broncos, who play in the difficult Western Athletic Conference. Offensively, the Lights were shut down by the BSU defense, shooting a dismal 32 percent from the floor. Northern also failed to reach the free-throw line, attempting just five foul shots for the entire game.
Conversely, the Broncos seemed to score at will, going 30-of-60 from the floor and draining 8-of-21 3-pointers. Boise State also outrebounded the Lights 41-21 and committed half as many turnovers as its NAIA counterpart.
“This was without a doubt the best Division I team I have played or coached against,” MSU-N head coach Shawn Huse said. “They are so big and strong, and in the second half, we were no match for them.”
Northern played a fairly clean first half, keeping pace with the Broncos behind the steady play of senior Jordan Matthews. After the first 20 minutes of play, the Broncos held a 37-28 lead, leaving the Lights well within striking distance.
“That is one of the positives we'll take away from this game,” Huse said. “I thought we played very well in the first half, especially defensively. We kind of had them (BSU) shaking their heads early on.
“I'm really proud of our guys for going out and not being intimidated,” he added.
In the second half, the Broncos turned up the heat on both ends of the floor and ran away from the Lights with ease, outscoring Northern 45-18 en route to the easy victory.
“The difference was that they just wore us down in the second half,” Huse said. “They forced us to shoot from the outside, and those shots weren't falling. That, and we committed some turnovers. When that happens, it is a recipe for disaster against a quality team like Boise State.”
Northern had just two players reach double figures in scoring. Matthews and sophomore Cory Brothers each scored 10 points, and both players hit a pair of 3-pointers. Marcus Wilson chipped in with nine points and led the Lights in rebounding with nine.
The Broncos had four players in double digits, led by guard Matt Bauscher with 13. Star guard Koby Karl, the son of NBA head coach George Karl, added 12 points, including three treys.
“He is an outstanding player and he can do it all,” Huse said of the 6-5 Karl. “He is a tremendous talent, and he really knows the game inside and out.
“As tough as the game was, it was pretty fun to watch a future NBA player like that play against our kids,” Huse said.
Northern (8-3) will be back in action this weekend when the Lights host the Coaches vs. Cancer/Super 8 Classic. The tournament will get under way with two games on Friday night and finish with a pair of games on Saturday evening.
Broncos 82, Lights 46
MSU-N - Marcus Wilson 9, Yanif Ducreay 6, Jordan Matthews 10, Cory Brothers 10, Brian Erickson 2, Reid Stovall 2, Cody Gillespie 5, Ronnie Simpson 2, Totals: 19-59 3-5 46.
BSU - Tyler Tiedeman 12, Tez Banks 6, Eric Lane 9, Coby Karl 11, Matt Bauscher 13, McNeal Thonpson 2, Kenny Wilson 7, Seth Robinson 12, Kurt Cunningham 6, Colin Hallberg 4. Totals: 30-60 14-19 82.
3-point goals - MSU-N 5-20 (Matthews 2, Brothers 2, Gillespie 1), BSU 8-21 (Tiedeman 1, Karl 3, Bauscher 2, Wilson 2); Rebounds - MSU-N 31, BSU 41; Total fouls - MSU-N 15, BSU 11; Fouled out - none.